Tag Archives: nature

The mystery of the birds with the weird feet

It’s something that’s bothered me for years. Oh, I forget about it and obsess over other things, like why all the women in CSI Miami have uniformly fabulous long hair when they work with evidence from crime scenes (have they not heard of the scrunchie?) and that weird Moroccan dude who walks around Sandton City…

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Going after ‘extreme oil’ is extremely irresponsible

The emerging information on the quest for what is referred to as “extreme oil” is worrying in the extreme. And it is very bad news for other creatures on the planet, especially those who live in the oceans, judging by the information clip sent to me by the Care2 petition site, to which I subscribe…

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Beyond protecting the environment: Ensuring life support

Several recent reports on a variety of things have made me return to an important book by Thomas Princen, Treading Softly – on which I have written here before. The news items that caught my eye covered different, but related topics. Two of them focused on court cases involving big oil companies – Chevron and…

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An exceptional South African thinker

In 1995 one of the best loved, most down-to-earth and wisest of South Africa’s thinkers, the philosopher Marthinus Versfeld died at an advanced age. If anyone thought that philosophers must of necessity always have their “heads in the clouds” of abstract thought – like the ancient Greek philosopher Thales, who once fell into a well…

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The ‘economistic worldview’ and the destruction of life

In his important recent book Treading Softly – Paths to Ecological Order (see my earlier post on it) — Thomas Princen distinguishes among four “worldviews” in relation to the environment, that is, four different ways of “perceiving and conceiving and making sense of one’s world” (pg 164) within what he terms “the current industrial, commercial…

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We’ll need two planets by 2030

At the beginning of his latest book, Treading Softly: Paths to Ecological Order, American ecological scholar Thomas Princen quotes from the Living Planet Report of 2008: “Our global [ecological] footprint now exceeds the world’s capacity to regenerate by about 30%. If our demands on the planet continue at the same rate, by the mid-2030s we…

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Is capitalism destroying our planet? (3)

*What is therefore new in Kovel’s book (The Enemy of Nature), in contrast to the many books devoted to the ecological crisis today, is the sustained manner in which he connects all the obvious signs of environmental degradation and ecosystemic breakdown with the social order or system referred to above. Thomas Berry (in The Great…

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